Get a Before and After View of the New Warrior Training Adventure from Brandon Clift.
- Who, What and Where?
- Who Runs the Training?
- What aspects of my life will I look at?
- How Do I Register?
- How Much Does It Cost To Attend?
- Who Comes to the Training?
- Am I Ready?
- Is the New Warrior Training Adventure for Every Man?
- What Happens After the Training?
- Does this work make a real difference?
- What Will I Get Out of This?
- Why is this only for men?
- Is this some kind of fraternal organization like the Masons or the Elks?
- Why are you called New Warriors?
- What is this “shadow” I keep hearing about?
- What is this “initiation” I keep hearing about?
- How will this impact my marriage or relationship?
- What about Gay men?
- Can I see what it’s about first?
- Why are we asked to carpool?
- What if I decide to leave? How will I get home?
- Why animal names?
- Why have people called this a boot camp?
- What else do you do?
- Are there other trainings after the NWTA?
- Are you just trying to sell me a bunch of products?
- How do you make money?
- Is MKP anti-religious? Are you Native American or pagan?
- Will my Christian beliefs be welcomed?
- Is the ManKind Project (MKP) a Cult?
- Does MKP have a response to negative press from the past?
The basics: You will join a group of between 15 and 40 other men at a camp or retreat facility somewhere in one of our geographical centers. We recommend that men drive no more than 3 hours to the training site. You will be asked to car-pool, in line with a commitment to ecological consciousness and as a way of beginning to create connections and camaraderie with the other men attending the training.
From Friday in the early evening until Sunday afternoon, (with meals, breaks and time for sleep) you will be asked to join in a series of processes and activities – all designed with one goal in mind – to help every man at the training step into his own unique sense of himself as a man among men. Some of the activities are individual, many are group processes. There are physical activities, writing, bioenergetics, visualizations. It will be one of the most action packed weekends of your life.
You will be guided on this journey by a group of 25 to 50 staff men who have volunteered hundreds of hours, traveled, prepared, and paid their own way to be there for you. Some of these men will be on staff for the first time, others will have decades of experience and advanced training in this one-of-a-kind process. Each staff man will play a role in creating the weekend experience.
On Sunday afternoon, after celebrating your success, you will return home. It is a good idea to have a quiet evening planned. Some men choose to take Monday off in order to digest their experience and catch up on sleep. It will be up to you what you do with what you have learned about yourself and other men. For many men, Monday’s sunrise is the beginning of a life with a renewed sense of vitality and purpose.
Powerful testimonial video from the ManKind Project New Zealand
The ManKind Project, an international network of nonprofit organizations, assembles a highly-motivated, experienced staff to lead the training programs. Except for a team of 3-5 certified training leaders, all staff members are volunteers, and because all have experienced the initiation process themselves, they have a compelling sense of male initiation and authentic self-examination.
The Certified Leader team on your training will have decades of experience working with men in transformational settings. Leaders in the ManKind Project have chosen to live a life of fierce and rigorous self examination. They have been judged repeatedly by their peers, and by the ManKind Project, and certified to lead the New Warrior Training, a serious responsibility. Their commitment is to the safety and success of each man on a training weekend.
In the final analysis, however, you run your own training through the responses and decisions you make along your journey. The staff serve as your guides and mentors, but you choose your own level of commitment, and you decide how far you will explore the inner terrain of your life, to discover the treasures, and obstacles buried within your self.
- Where you came from and how you were raised.
- What you learned about how to be a man.
- What you want for your future.
- What you want for yourself and for others.
- What is your unique purpose for being? (and how to move toward it!)
- How you handle your past. (and how to break free of it)
- How you deal with conflict.
- How you learn to be more effective.
- How you deal with being alone OR being a part of a team.
- How you handle fear, anger, shame, joy, sadness.
- How you fit in to the natural world.
- How you fit in as a man among men.
- What is your relationship to your power as a man?
- What is your relationship to your spirituality?
- What is your relationship to death?
- What is your relationship to women?
- What is your relationship to your body and sexuality?
Want to know more about how we handle sexuality and nudity?Click Here.
Only you can decide if you are ready to participate in the New Warrior Training Adventure. There is likely a training happening near you soon in one of our geographical centers. Click Here to register.There is an application process for registering that includes a detailed questionnaire. Some communities also conduct telephone or face to face interviews. Not every man is ready for the NWTA, but most men are. Face the fear. Take the risk.
NWTA tuition varies from location to location based on local facility costs and cost of living. The widest price range in 2018 was in the US with the average cost a little over $650 and a range from $575 to $750. In Canada the price was CAD$650, In French-Speaking Europe € 520, In Australia AUD$985, in South Africa ZAR3800, in German-Speaking Europe €530, In New Zealand NZD$795 and in the United Kingdom £500.
To find out the exact current price for the NWTA, visit the How Do I Register Page and find the contact listing for the host community you’ve selected to attend the NWTA with. Representatives will have the most current data.
During your training you will stand shoulder to shoulder with an immensely rich mix of masculinity, with occupations and ages as wide as masculinity itself. Whether they’re corporate executives or college students, all come to share a common understanding that their lives as men can be empowered with greater focus and direction, and that this personal initiation into manhood is crucial to their full development as men.
Some men come to heal. Some men come to find role models for positive and mature masculinity. Some men come to explore their Leadership abilities and expand their skills. Some men come to make a conscious transition from adolescent life to the life of a man. Some men come to find peace of mind in their transition to elder-hood. All men come because a small voice within them lets them know when it’s time.
We do not recommend this training for every man. We urge you not to apply to this program without serious forethought, and not to enroll simply at the urging of a spouse or friend.
You must be highly committed to your life and ready to participate fully in all training activities, many of which will challenge you to take a hard look at yourself, your deepest fears, your wounds from the past, and how you are willing to learn and take responsibility for your life. We choose to work only with men who are ready, and willing to do this initiatory work with us. Not every man who applies is accepted.
No. There are a variety of reasons why a man may be told “not now” for attendance at the NWTA.
The ManKind Project has a fundamental responsibility to the safety and health of the men attending, and takes this responsibility seriously. This training is not a fit for men with an active mental health condition that might lead to self harming or violent behaviors. It is not a fit for men with significant untreated or undisclosed trauma or abuse. Please seek professional mental health counseling. (Read our Declaration on Mental Health) The New Warrior Training Adventure is not a substitute for professional mental health services. Many therapists highly recommend the training for men committed to ongoing treatment and personal growth. If you are involved in ongoing treatment, talk to your provider about whether an intense men’s weekend or a men’s group could be valuable to you. Involvement with the ManKind Project is often recognized to have positive effects for men in recovery from chemical addictions or with a history of addictive behavior. Talk to your sponsor. The New Warrior Training Adventure is not a fit if you are actively using or have a very short period of sobriety.
No weekend workshop is a fix-all. We do not expect the NWTA to “cure” you or “fix” your life. What we do expect is that a crack will be opened in the shield you have covered yourself with, maybe the shield will break apart completely. The awakening that results from the NWTA can be very powerful … but the ongoing growth in self-awareness and empowerment that can come about by participating in ongoing men’s groups, called Integration Groups, is the most compelling reason that many of us took the NWTA to begin with. After the NWTA you will be invited to participate in an I-Group.
You will also be invited to join the global community of men that is the ManKind Project. Within MKP you can participate in advanced leadership and skill trainings, learn facilitation skills, and participate as staff at any of our trainings. You will also find a wider community of men, women, families and organizations dedicated to making the world a better, safer, more alive place through missions of service.
Like a stone dropping into a pond, the New Warrior Training Adventure [NWTA] sends ripples through the lives of men, their families, and their communities. The growth and healing that men experience doesn’t stop with them. New Warrior men and Centers are involved in mentoring disaffected young men and women, working with gangs and incarcerated young men, building shelters for the homeless, creating programs for Vietnam-era veterans, and other causes that cry out for healthy masculine presence.
We don’t know exactly what you will walk away with. Your experience will be unique. You will learn about yourself and how you show up in the world. You will learn about your place in a community of men. You will learn about your masculinity and the possibility of creating a new kind of a warrior, a peaceful warrior, to help heal the wounds in our society. You will see men mentor other men, support each other, play together and form a safe, authentic container where men are free to be exactly who they are, without defenses or masks.
It’s likely that when you leave this training you will have the possibility to love and be loved in a way you have not experienced in a very long time. You’ll have a gift to offer the world, and the energy to share it.
“Previous cultures throughout history always intended authentic masculine initiation. But their vision and their cultural context of the world was necessarily limited. Since the first earthrise photograph from outer space, we have entered a new mythological era. For the first time in human history, we have before us the possibility of authentic masculine initiation – an initiation into the global brotherhood.” –Dr. Robert Moore Coauthor of King, Warrior, Magician, Lover
We believe that men have important work to accomplish in helping one another and learning to trust each other. The work we do is about helping men step into a healthy and mature sense of masculinity. Through working with each other, we create the real possibility for effective and productive relationships with women – relationships based in healthy respect, self-reliance, emotional intelligence, empathy and compassion. We do our own work so that we can benefit everyone.
No. We offer a quality of community and connection very different than any fraternal organization that we know of. Being a part of the ManKind Project certainly does not preclude anyone from membership in any purposeful organization they wish to join.
The energy of the warrior is needed today from men and women of conscience. We distinguish ourselves from the “Old” warrior, the obsolete and morally bankrupt soldier of fortune, whose actions are centered around personal gain and whose purpose is harmful to himself and those around him. The old warrior uses machismo, rage and intimidation to get respect through fear. The New Warrior is a man who looks inside himself to do battle with the demons in his own soul and emerges with maturity and grounded strength.
It is the part of ourselves that we don’t talk about and are often completely unconscious of. It is the parts of our personality that we deny to the world, and often to ourselves. Though we didn’t begin this way, the ManKind Project has incorporated symbols, archetypes and stories from Jungian psychology, made popular by men and women like Joseph Campbell, Robert Moore, Clarisa Pinkola Estes, Robert Bly and many others. You can read about the framework of Jungian beliefs HERE. Archetypal language and symbols are not the only frameworks we draw on. There are many ways to approach personal growth, yours will likely be welcomed.
In almost every global culture, rites of passage taught boys how to be men and become productive members of the society. Often these experiences were harrowing and physically painful. These days, that old kind of initiation is no longer appropriate, safe, or useful. (though dangerous initiations are still occurring in gangs, fraternities and adolescent acts of rebellion) Initiation – the ManKind Project has created a modern, healthy, and cutting edge initiation for men. The modern initiation is safe, non-shaming, and focused on the problems that face men in the 21st century. We conduct an initiation because we believe it is absolutely necessary for a man to learn in an unequivocal way; what he is capable of, why he is here, what he is responsible for, and how to engage fully in his life.
With this knowledge, a modern man is freed to make choices, take risks and assume full responsibility for his life. This is not a hazing ritual or an entrance to a fraternal organization; this is a challenging 48 hour experience that will likely have life-changing effects. Not every man is ready for our training, but every man can gain something when he is willing to take that step. Our training may have aspects of other workshops you have experienced, but the power of initiation is in the challenge. This is not a spa, not a retreat, not a weekend getaway. It is an entry point into a new way of being you.
This Clip is from the film extras on “JOURNEYMAN – a documentary about rites of passage, mentoring, and male culture in America” produced in 2008 by Charlie Borden of MirrorMan Films, directed by Charlie Borden and Kevin Obsatz. To learn more about Boys to Men – a program that mentors boys aged 14-17, visit Boys to Men Mentoring Network (boystomen.org). Boys to Men is an independent 501(c)(3) Charitable organization, not run by the ManKind Project.
Emotional Intelligence is the practice of learning to recognize and respond to emotional stimulus in ourselves and others in a healthy, positive, and effective way. There are numerous resources for learning more about this.
Many men have been taught to over-value thinking and to distrust or repress feelings. They have been desensitized, taught to endure pain without complaint, and told that it is an honor to sacrifice our bodies for society. As a result, many men suffer from isolation and are prone to addictions and to acting out their feelings in dysfunctional ways. Many men are afraid of intimacy, both with men and with women. We hide behind masks that are brittle and in need of repair.
Many men are sad, lonely, frightened, angry, and ashamed, and don’t even know it. And with the loss of their feelings, they also lose what is most precious to them: Their ability to value their world, relate authentically to other people, and to hold life dear.
Other men know their feelings perhaps too well. They have learned to indulge in their feelings and use them to manipulate others, often the ones they love most. They lack the ability to stand in their own authentic power. Lost in their feelings, they too lose what is most precious to them: Their ability to be trusted and loved.
On the New Warrior Training Adventure men re-discover their feelings with their feet on the ground. They begin to learn to clarify what they’re feeling and to express those feelings directly, powerfully, and authentically. They begin to learn to balance the depth of the heart with the wisdom of the mind. If this kind of authenticity sounds attractive to you, the NWTA may be for you.
Many men will rediscover the passion, love and connection that they felt when they first entered a relationship … and return from the training with renewed energy to make a marriage or relationship work better than it ever has. Men who have attended the NWTA have the opportunity to co-create incredibly strong relationships with their wives and partners, their children and their co-workers. Our goal is to help them clarify their choices, and find the passion to make the changes they choose. Some men come to the New Warrior Training Adventure feeling stuck, frustrated, powerless. They may be looking to find the energy to make powerful changes in their lives, and our intention is to empower men to create the lives they want. For some men this will eventually mean choosing to leave a relationship, a place, or a job (though men are strongly discouraged from making any major life decisions for 6 months after the training).
We welcome gay, bi, trans, and questioning men. The New Warrior Training Adventure, and our men’s circles, give GBTQ men an opportunity to create strong and supportive connections with straight allies. Straight men have the opportunity to examine their internalized prejudices and take responsibility for their feelings and actions, learning to value differences and acknowledge similarities. Intercultural competency is one of our core values as an organization and we take pride in the work we’ve done to create productive cross-cultural dialogues over the last three decades.
We will never try to change a man’s sexual orientation, and we do not support or practice ‘Reparative’ therapy. The ManKind Project conducts regular weekends called GBTQ gateways, where ‘the minority is the majority’ of staff and participants. Learn more at ManKindPride.org.
We create trainings and circles in which all men are welcome to discover their deepest truths. We welcome men of all sexual orientations: gay, straight, and bisexual, including those who identify as having unwanted same sex attraction, to do their own work as they define it, to respect the identity and value of others, and to take responsibility for the impact their words and behaviors have on others.
The ManKind Project, through our Regions and Areas across the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK & Ireland, South Africa, Germany, Belgium, France, Israel, Mexico, Switzerland, and other smaller developing centers, conduct regular peer facilitated men’s groups where men join one another in providing ongoing challenges and support through all the stages of a man’s life. There are often opportunities to join these men and experience first hand the commitment and connection of MKP men. Contact us to be connected to a men’s group near you.
We ask all men who come to the training, including staff, to carpool. Occasionally there is limited parking space, but our primary reason for car pooling is to challenge the isolation with which many men live their lives. Great friendships have been created between NWTA participants simply by sharing the journey into self-discovery with another. We also take our environmental impact seriously, and carpooling is a significant way to shrink our environmental footprint.
When you arrive at the training site you will be asked if you are willing to do everything necessary to get what you came for. If you decide you want to leave, one of the weekend leaders is likely to challenge you to stay by reminding you of this commitment.
Many men experience a time on the weekend when they no longer want to be there. Some ask to leave, and then decide to stay. The vast majority are glad they did. Others choose to leave. This is part of the process; we expect it to happen, just as many of us experience days when we would rather leave our jobs, leave our relationships, run away from our responsibilities. We will ask you if this is one of those times that staying might serve you more than leaving. And then, if you decide to leave, we will help you do that. We will either return your keys to you if you drove, help you make phone calls to arrange transportation, or have a staff member drive you home. You are free to go, and we will ask you if it’s what you really want for yourself.
The ManKind Project honors the many indigenous cultures that have a spiritual practice related to ‘spirit animals’ or ‘totems.’ In these cultures, men and women adopt (or receive through a ritual, shaman, or elder) a ‘spirit’ animal or a ‘totem’ that represents a companion, a helper and a reflection of who they are in the world. The ManKind Project does not intend to reproduce this indigenous practice.
In all cultures throughout the world, animals have come to represent metaphorical ideas about human characteristics. The strong bear, noble eagle, wary rattlesnake, lone wolf, playful chipmunk, loyal dog, mischievous coyote. Men who attend the New Warrior Training participate in an activity that helps them choose an animal to represent and reinforce the learning that they receive from the process. It may be a way they see themselves, an animal they have always identified with in their lives, or an aspiration of something they wish to embody. For some men the animal names mean very little, but are fun. For other men, their animal name offers a strong reminder or ‘anchor’ for the work they’re doing. Often they change with time as men continue to grow.
People who have called it a boot camp have never attended a real boot camp. It is our intention to create an experience that jars a man out of his complacency and engages him with a wide range of emotions and experiences. The ‘arc’ of an initiation is in three parts: the Descent – in which a man is separated from his ‘normal’ life, the Ordeal – in which a man discovers his worth by facing a challenge, and the Reintegration – in which a man returns to his life, reclaiming that which he gave up, leaving behind that which he does not wish to carry forward. This is what we create with the New Warrior Training Adventure. It is challenging. It can be frightening for some men. We ask men to go for it! To shed their fears and dive into the adventure – to fully immerse in the experience, to do whatever it takes to get what they came for.
We go to great lengths to create a cutting edge and challenging experience. You will (probably) get less sleep than usual. You will (probably) eat less than usual. We do not practice sleep or food deprivation. Injuring men does not help them improve their lives.
One aspect of the NWTA is a deep examination of purpose or mission in a man’s life. A man emerges from the NWTA with a clear understanding of his own unique positive purpose in the world, and some first steps toward living his passion. How he will carry this out will be up to him. Missions of Service are common throughout the ManKind Project communities. Men on a mission, who have the resources and support to pursue their dreams, do amazing things. Learn more about Missions of Service.
A wide range of advanced trainings are offered by the ManKind Project and numerous loosely affiliated organizations created and operated by New Warriors and their partners. Our members have created trainings to address multiple aspects of masculinity, healthy relationship, multi-cultural issues, social justice work, work in prisons, work with veterans, work with teens, non-violence trainings, meditation and spiritual practices, religious explorations, support for elders and young men, fathers, divorced men, gay men, advanced leadership training, corporate training, individual coaching and counseling, shadow work, numerous body-mind and healing modalities, wilderness leadership and exploration, sustainability and ecological living, community building and more. Some of these trainings are sponsored by MKP Communities, others sponsored independently.
No. We hope that you will participate in the organization at a level that you’re comfortable. We hope that you will join a men’s group – most of which are completely free. And you are welcome to participate in our curriculum of enriching programs for personal growth.
The majority of our organizational income comes from the tuition for our trainings. We are registered charitable organizations in every region where we operate, using sound financial and business practices. The ManKind Project has no brick and mortar headquarters or heavy infrastructure. We have a very small staff of paid employees, and some roles are paid by contract for services they provide. We also raise money through donations, and membership support in some regions. No one ever has, and no one ever will, get rich from the ManKind Project. That’s not what we’re about.
NO. Men of many faiths are active in ManKind Project communities. MKP encourages men from all walks of life and all faiths to sit together with respect and acceptance. Men are often invited to share wisdom from their own faith traditions in our circles, enriching all of us with the diversity of spiritual practices available in the world.
Some of the ritual aspects of the New Warrior Training Adventure (NWTA) are intended to honor and pay homage to indigenous traditions native to the country in which the training is held. This honoring is done with the utmost respect, and with input and influence from native peoples. In countries around the globe efforts are made to connect with, learn from, and be in circle with indigenous people. We seek to respectfully draw upon wisdom from many cultures and many times, using timeless metaphors that have been present since the dawn of civilization. For most men – this symbolism is very useful as a way to get in touch with a connection to spiritual aspects of the personality and to create or recreate a sense of connection to nature, the ‘spirit of the land’ and the ‘spirit of the ancestors’ that lived here before us. We diligently work to respect and protect these first-nation traditions from exploitation.
You may have read statements that MKP is a pagan or neo-pagan organization. It is not. There are certainly men who consider themselves pagan in our membership, along with Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews and others. There are also men with no religious belief. We do not ‘worship’ anything. We recognize the valuable role of symbolism in spiritual practices, and are open to the beliefs of others. If your religious beliefs require you to reject symbolism and and practices other than your own; while you are likely to find value in the NWTA, you may not feel comfortable associating with the diversity of spiritual practices and beliefs in our organization. There is no room in our circles for active intolerance, bigotry or discrimination. We do not allow any religious tradition to influence our training protocols, impose religious values on other men in our organization, or proselytize. Men are invited to connect with what is most true for themselves in their spiritual practice.
Love, compassion, and connection are at the heart of what we do. Thousands of Christian men have attended and greatly benefited from the NWTA. Many pastors, ministers, and priests have participated in MKP and are still involved in the organization. There are Men’s circles in the ManKind Project made up mostly of men from the same church. There is room for you here. Our core values align very well with Christ’s teachings and can augment a man of faith’s ability to navigate the world with clarity, a deep sense of purpose, and joy.
Quite emphatically, NO.
There are many definitions of cult, and most include 1) a single charismatic leader, 2) financial support by committed followers, 3) a unified dogma or mission, and 4) separation from the outside world.
By contrast, the three men who founded what became the ManKind Project gave away our primary intellectual property, the protocols describing how to run the NWTA, to a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization many years ago. The two surviving founders, Bill Kauth and Rich Tosi, each receive royalties of less than $20,000 per year. The ManKind Project is now a network of education and training nonprofit organizations in regions around the world, each independently run. Each is registered as a nonprofit / ngo / charity. Leadership and management is completely decentralized. There are a handful of full time staff in each region, and the highest salary in the organization is under $70,000 US. Most of MKP’s income derives from training tuition, and about a sixth of our total budget comes from member donations. As a nonprofit, the ManKind Project USA posts audited financial statements on our website here, and is listed as a Silver Certified Charity in the Guidestar database.
The ManKind Project has a set of core values: integrity, respect, generosity, accountability, multicultural awareness, and compassion. We have a common purpose: to support and nurture a healthy way of being for men. We have no creation story, no mystical entities, no miracle stories, no icons, no gurus, no dogma, no sacred texts. Rather than offering a single perspective on how to live, a single belief system or mission, we support each man to live his own mission as you define it. Will some of your old beliefs be challenged on the NWTA? We certainly hope so. Our intention is provide an opportunity for you to re-examine patterns which limit your potential, with the goal of expanding awareness and opportunity.
As for separation from the community – the men in MKP are involved in all kinds of communities! We are a far too diverse and vibrant group of men to be closed off from the world. After getting involved in this work, most of us experience an expansion in the level connection we have to all the people we meet and interact with. We have weekly or bi-weekly peer mentoring groups that we can choose to be involved with. Some of us volunteer to work for our centers or staff our trainings – and a few have made this work our livelihood.
Many of us do feel strong loyalty for the ManKind Project, because the NWTA and integration groups have brought so much meaning to our lives. Our loyalty is similar to how many of us feel about other service organizations that bring value to the world. If you have visited the Rick Ross Cult Forum, you know he refers to the ManKind Project as a large group awareness training or LGAT. Rick Ross doesn’t call us a cult. The truth is, we do offer an awareness training – and we think growing awareness is a good thing!
We know we’re a bit unusual, even controversial, but we’re nothing like the Houston Press described in their article. A former Executive Director Carl Griesser has written a response to that article here. We are proud of who we are, the work we do and the positive impact we have had on more than 63,000 men.
I have more questions that aren’t answered here, where can I learn more?